Bethlehem, Thu 3.1.08, Morning
04:40- Behtlehem, passage no. 300 from the Palestinian side
A lot of commotion in that area: a stand with warm drinks and food for sale, cabs, hundreds of workers who were standing in a linethat not only reached the area with
the "metal" gates, but nearly reached
the end of the checkpoint. The 'line later
grew and it sometimes even went
beyond the gates.
At the beginning of the line we managed
to see bonfires that were lit so that they
could warm whose waiting, one of them
was made of carton boards. We understood
that some people arrive there at around 3-3:30
at night just to make sure they have a good place in the line.
The checkpoint had opened a couple of minutes after 5:00. They enabled people to enter in groups: the checkpoint would open for several minutes, during which dozens of people swarmed in, and then it would close again for some time. And then it would start all over again.
The workers kept arriving the whole time. Our estimation is that during our time there hundreds if not thousands of people had passed.
We met two ecumenics who were on their morning shift, they were crossing the checkpoint. Afterwards one of them had crossed the checkpoint back to the Palestinian side and we had an interesting conversation with her, we talked about the cooperation between both groups and about how important it is- they use our help to communicate with the security forces, and we use their help to find out what goes on at the Palestinian side of the checkpoint, especially when its very early in the morning, as it is an hour in which most of our shift aren't there yet.
People had asked several times about Silviya Piterman, someone even stopped us at a junction to ask about her.
We returned at about 7:00 AM.